Yes, up is down, black is white, and short is long. Here's some evidence:
Thing you knew #1: When you get shot in the face, the person doing the shooting should apologize to you. Not, I repeat NOT, the other way around. And yet, we find Harry Whittington, the guy on the wrong end of Cheney's birdshot, saying this: "My family and I are deeply sorry for all that Vice President Cheney and his family have had to go through this past week."
Ahem. You're sorry? What did you do? Jump in front of the barrel at the last second?
Thing you knew #2: Congress has the responsibility to oversee the executive's actions, and to reprimand them if they get out of hand.
Reality: Not so much.
Thing you knew #3: Guns 'n' Roses was never going to come out with that new album.
Reality: It might actually happen. I say this because some songs actually have names.
And a couple of other tidbits of advice for survival in these crazy times:
- If you find yourself operating an extralegal death squad, and you want to keep out of prison, don't tell people at a checkpoint that you're going to "execute your prisoner." Also, if you're running a government, and people suspect your Interior Ministry of doing something evil, don't investigate the charges using the Interior Ministry.
- Teachers: If you're accepting bribes from students so they don't have to attend gym class, you're not going to be able to keep that arrangement quiet. You should probably stop.
My condolences to all those affected by the Philippines mudslide. There must be nothing more horrifying than watching a wall of mud coming straight for you. Gives me the creeps just thinking about it.
On a slightly happier note, the World Bank has put out a study on poverty. (I didn't even know that the World Bank cared about poverty.) Their conclusions were blindingly obvious: growth doesn't always alleviate poverty, and in fact high poverty levels can inhibit growth. Marcela Sanchez explains why this report deserves more than a "no shit, Sherlock."
I just wanted to isolate this one quote that Sanchez pulls from the report: "Converting the state into an agent that promotes equality of opportunities and practices efficient redistribution is, perhaps, the most critical challenge Latin America faces in implementing better policies that simultaneously stimulate growth and reduce inequality and poverty." Yup. The World Bank, led by neoconservative mastermind Paul Wolfowitz, somehow momentarily slipped into liberalism.
It won't last long - they'll be back to keeping third-world countries under mountains of debt before you know it. It's nice to dream, though.